The God behind the scenes

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One day as we stroll the streets of heaven we will look back
And learn of the pain and sacrifice of many unknown heroes
We will hear of wounds and scars unseen before
Of hidden sin, doubts and possible backsliding
And will glorify the God who worked behind the scenes
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We will see our heroes of faith as we should
As mere feeble men and praise the one who worked in them
We will see those we look down upon
And hear of their unknown acts of charity
Then will we rightly praise the Saviour behind it all
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We will hear of much generosity and unrivalled patience
Of the hospitality of godly women and discipline of caring fathers
We will see those who suffered and died for their faith
And those who endured bearing their cross everyday
Then shall our mouths be filled with true praise
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We will know of greater evangelists and Bible teachers
Those who never came to the limelight but served faithfully
We will hear of businessmen and stay at home mums
Those who supported and served behind the scenes
And great shall be their joy meeting the one who saw it all
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We crave the reputation of men that will fade in time
We worry about things that will be deemed insignificant
Because we see more with our eyes than our faith
But if we paid attention and looked carefully
We would see the God at work behind the scenes
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Sometimes all we need is his sympathy

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I really hate it when I feel helpless. You know when you are in a crisis or someone shares their problem with you and you know you can’t help them. At times you wish they didn’t tell you to enjoy the bliss of ignorance. And you might quickly want to forget it by overindulging in some distraction.

The problem is when we share our troubles many people especially men rush to look for solutions. They mean well but they are also naive and shallow to realise the depth of the problem. Because sometimes the problem isn’t merely finding a solution but living with the problem.

Take our sinful heart for example. We know there’s only one cure, a new heart conformed to the nature of Christ. But we are here on earth and we have to live with this wretchedness. We don’t just need a cure for our sinful heart but the strength to endure living with this cancer.

This is why I find great comfort in the Lord Jesus because he doesn’t just fix us. He gives us the power to endure living with the problem. Because he knows what it means to bear the burden of sin in our weak bodies. As the author to the Hebrews says:

18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2.

I cry to him when I mess up and wish he could rip out this sinful heart. But I know as longs as I’m down here I’ll have to live with this sickness before I see him in eternal glory. So I live with the comfort of knowing he’s with me through the thick and thin. I know however bad and hopeless it feels I have him by my side as I fight sin.

And not once will I ever say, God you didn’t know what it was like living in this broken world because he knows. As a matter of fact I’ll never come close to facing what he faced on his way to earn me salvation.

Sometimes all we need is sympathy. It’s not someone to try fix us because in truth we are broken beyond repair. We don’t need someone to download their theology on us on right and wrong, evil and good, righteousness and wickedness.

We need someone who can say I know how you feel. I know the guilt within you. I can see the pain and anguish, the regret and remorse. I know exactly what you are going through because I have faced it and much worse. And Jesus the friend of sinners can say this and do much more. He can sympathize with our weaknesses, he is our strength in the journey and the cure to our weaknesses:

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2.

We need not fear anything when we are beside him. He has conquered the monsters, that is sin, death and the devil. And now he lives in us by his Spirit and has walked ahead of us as a perfect example. Whatever we face he can sympathize with us. He’s the surgeon in the operating theater that worked on our heart cancer but also the friend beside us as we face the pain of recovery.

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Calm down my worrying heart

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When I toss back and forth in my bed
And a hundred thoughts run through my mind
When the night feels like an eternity
And my worries too many to bear
I look to the one who calms my heart
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I worry of that which I cannot change
My fears run to a future so uncertain
It looks bleak and feels like the end
So I toss again with hopelessness
And I cannot calm my worrying heart
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I could toss all night and change nothing
I wet my sheets with my tears for nothing
Perhaps if I knew the future I could do something
But it’s not mine to know or change
Mine only is to surrender my heart to him
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So I give you this little heart and my worries
I offer my pain and distress as a sacrifice
Take it, Lord, as a pleasing aroma of my worship
I surrender this my heart and mind to you
For only you can calm this worrying heart
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It’s another night and fear looms in the dark
A new day comes and new problems are born
Where can I run far away to peace everlasting?
I will hide in the arms of my loving Father
The one who calms down my worrying heart
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Who wants eternal boredom?

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Most times what puts people off the Christian faith isn’t merely the cost it demands but what we imagine it offers. Sure everyone wants eternal life. But who wants to sing with the choir of angels forever. In our limited imagination we assume heaven would be one long Sunday service. It might have the best preacher but not exactly what comes to mind when you think about living life to the fullest.

We fail to imagine righteousness and fun going hand in hand. It’s like having the church in a bar. Those two places cannot coexist together. One is reserved for boundless fun and the other for the killjoys. In that case,  many would prefer a lifetime in the bar to an eternity in the church.

But we have two problems here. One we assume the only way to have fun and live life to the fullest is to break loose and give in to the cravings of the flesh. Sin becomes synonymous with fun and righteousness with boredom. Unfortunately, this is a highly overrated lie and in every age people fall for this lie, die unfulfilled and miss the real party.

Second, our imagination is really limited. We don’t stop for a minute to consider who gave us the things we so easily idolize. In our minds, God made the church with all the killjoys while Satan the rest of the world and everything good in it. Our problem is we cannot imagine a God who loves righteousness and at the same time delights in the joy and fulfillment of his people. That he would delight seeing them live life to the fullest.

In truth, our imagination doesn’t even come close to life at the gates of heaven. Everything that blows our minds away now is but a small fragment of the wonders of the city of God. In Isaiah 25 we see an eternal party with well aged wine and as I love to imagine the best grilled ribs. All this while at peace with the one who made us.

6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines. Isaiah 25.

The best party we have ever been to, the most finger licking meal we had, the most memorable adventure, the most fulfilling relationship and life goals and achievements. All these will fade away into insignificance when the Lord opens his eternal party.

What’s more? God will remove what ultimately kills every good party; sin, pain and death forever. There will no more be the pain of loss and disease or uncertainty and insecurity. We will truly live life to the fullest.

7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8     he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Isaiah 25.

The million dollar question is will you be invited to this party? Looking at vs 9 of Isaiah 25 we see those rejoicing in the party are those who waited and trusted in the Lord. They are those who saw the lies of the world for what it is and chose to wait on the Lord’s return. Those who know this is not all there is but only a taster of the life we were made for.

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Small wounds still hurt

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My pain is unknown by the world

For my wounds are small in nature

In a world plagued with a pandemic

My anguish is deemed insignificant

But small wounds still hurt

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I fear to speak of my heartache

For it’d seem like a joke to call it a problem

When many face death and real problems

The pain of my heart seem to mock them

It’s a small wound but still, it hurts

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I speak of shattered plans and dreams

Of those planned weddings and visits

I know many have faced worse

And I dare not undermine their pain

But our wound though small still hurts

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Perhaps I shouldn’t share this with the world

I know mine wouldn’t be top on the agenda

But I know I can bring my pain to my Father

For he sees my wound and it’s not small to him

For the wounds of the heart matters most to him

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So I bring him my pain and lament

I cry for his help to take away this cup

I call on him to sustain me if he tarries

To keep me in his steadfast love

And heal the wound of my heart

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#Heartache #God’slove#Corona